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Volume 24 No. 156


After last season's Final Four appearance and a close loss in the national championship game, the Univ. of Michigan men's basketball program has "sold 4,500 student tickets, the most since available records were kept in the early 1990s," according to Mark Snyder of the DETROIT FREE PRESS. But this has "created a new problem -- too many ticket holders for the available 3,000 student seats" in the Crisler Center. So UM "had to get creative" with an incentive program "using a 'pod system.'" Students will have 72 hours to pick up their tickets "for the initial pod of games and, based on whether they attend those in their initial pod, they will have the chance to get the next pod." Should they "skip games in a pod they requested, they will not be allowed to get tickets for the following pod." UM Associate AD/Media & Public Relations Dave Ablauf said, "They have to prove attendance to continue moving along." Snyder notes the idea is to "keep the students section full and lively at all times, something that was lacking last season." UM "totaled a 46.1% show rate for the season, well below the Big Ten average of 67%." Only two UM home games "topped 70% last year." The cost of student tickets for the season "are $200, an average of $11.76 per game" (DETROIT FREE PRESS, 9/18). Student newspaper MICHIGAN DAILY's Alejandro Zuniga noted students who do not like the new policy "can request a full refund," but those not requesting full refunds "will not receive a refund for games not attended during the season." UM Senior Associate AD & CMO Hunter Lochmann said that demand for student tickets is "at its highest point since the Fab Five era in the early 1990s" (MICHIGAN DAILY, 9/17).

UNLV "has its finalists for the 12th full-time athletic director in program history," and has narrowed its search "down to three primary candidates," according to sources cited by Taylor Bern of the LAS VEGAS SUN. The top three candidates reportedly are former Florida State AD Randy Spetman, Washington State Senior Associate AD John Johnson and Arkansas-Little Rock AD Chris Peterson. UNLV interim AD Tina Kunzer-Murphy, who stepped in for Jim Livengood in July, has "said several times that she wouldn't take the full-time gig." Spetman was "in town last week for an interview with UNLV President Neal Smatresk and other leaders." Johnson and Peterson "are expected to have interviews in the near future" (LAS VEGAS SUN, 9/18). In Las Vegas, Steve Carp notes the idea "for someone local to sit in the AD’s chair at UNLV is a concept whose time has not yet come." Triple-A PCL Las Vegas 51s President & COO Don Logan and South Point Arena GM Steve Stallworth -- two sports execs with "a long history in Las Vegas -- are not being considered for the vacancy." Logan said, "They never contacted me to sit down with them and discuss it." Stallworth said that he had "talked to a couple of members of the search committee and was told he was nominated to apply for the position." But he added that he "never talked" to Smatresk directly, and that he "elected not to go through the process" (LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL, 9/18).

FIVE FOR FIGHTING: In Green Bay, Scott Venci noted the Univ. of Wisconsin-Green Bay yesterday announced "five finalists" for its open AD job. They include interim AD Dan McIver, Minnesota State Mankato AD Kevin Buisman, Bowling Green State Univ. Associate AD/External Relations Mary Ellen Gillespie, Chicago State Univ. AD Dan Schumacher and former Western Illinois Univ. AD Tim Van Alstine. Each candidate will "visit the campus and meet with the selection committee." All five also will "make a public presentation and participate in a 75-minute open forum" (GREEN BAY PRESS-GAZETTE, 9/18).